The annual Flick Pics feature, which charts the next several years of film openings that present significant licensing opportunities, has grown this year to include a multitude of blockbuster sequels, sure-to-be animated hits and the initiation of new franchises.
Warner Bros. will release the final chapter in the Christopher Nolan-directed Batman franchise, The Dark Knight Rises, next month. His second installment, The Dark Knight, grossed more than $1 billion at the box office worldwide and is ranked as the third best opening weekend film of all time (source: Box Office Mojo). Add in total global retail sales and that figure grows to more than $10 billion. Expectations for the final film are high.
Also expected to fair well at the theater is Ice Age: Continental Drift, set to premiere next month from Twentieth Century Fox. 2009's Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs took in almost $200 million in domestic box office sales. The fourth installment revisits the Ice Age gang as they head off on their greatest adventure yet.
Other notable sequels include Disney's Monsters, Inc. 2, DreamWorks' Madagascar 3, Marvel's follow-ups to each of its superhero films, Sony's The Smurfs 2, Universal's Despicable Me 2 and Paramount's Transformers 4 and Star Trek Sequel 3D. Also forthcoming is Lionsgate's Catching Fire, the second film in the record-breaking The Hunger Games franchise and the culmination to the Twilight Saga from Summit.
Over the next few years, numerous animated films will debut. Disney/Pixar will unveil Brave this month, introducing its new female heroine Merida, a spitfire Scot who wants to be more than just the daughter of royalty. DreamWorks has a slew of new films in the pipeline, including Rise of the Guardians, The Croods, Turbo and Me and My Shadow, while Sony will release Hotel Transylvania.
New films set to spark a surefire multi-film arc include The Amazing Spider-Man from Marvel (the film's sequel is slated for 2014), and Warner Bros.' The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which debuts in December. The second installment is set for a December 2013 release. The studio will also debut Man of Steel in 2013, which revisits the Superman legend.
*Flick Pics is a compilation of some major theatrical releases, organized alphabetically by studio and film release date, and includes a brief synopsis of film offerings and the status of its licensing programs.